How To Manage Instagram Direct Messages

Struggling to manage Instagram direct messages? Take a page from our book and learn our best tips for managing a busy Instagram DM inbox.

Managing Instagram direct messages can sometimes feel like a full-time job in itself, especially if you happen to be a one-person band!

Don’t worry, today we’re going to take the stress away from your Instagram direct messages by teaching you some of our best secrets for managing them like a pro.



This is a really handy guide to use if you are running a solo business if you are bringing on an intern to help you, or even if you have a team of people helping you with your marketing.

The truth? The more people that are helping you with your Instagram direct messages, the more complicated it can be.

Having some tricks up your sleeve like the ones below will make sure that you’re delighting your audience and responding to everyone quickly and in a way that your mother would be proud of.

instagram direct messages


instagram direct messages


Instagram’s flag system is one of the handiest tools that you’ll have in your toolbox when managing direct messages, so here’s a quick list of how you could use flags to clean up your inbox.

You can use flags as an alert for:

  • ✔ Any messages that you are waiting on a response for
  • ✔ Messages that you need help answering (i.e. if you need to ask your client or consult your business partner)
  • ✔ Positive reviews contained in messages so that you can go back later to write down the review and share it on social media or your website


Seriously, we love ourselves some orange Instagram flags! 

instagram direct messages


Give them a try and use them to clean up your Instagram DM’s.

PSSST -> Still not sure whether you should switch to an Instagram Business Profile? Here are a few reasons why you need one…


instagram direct messages


It’s really really reaaaaaally important that early on when managing your Instagram DM’s (Direct Messages) that you decide on a realistic timeframe that you can do your best to respond to messages in.

It could be 24 hours, 48 hours or less. Whatever works for you and your schedule.

If you get a lot of customer requests, support questions or compliments from your community in DM’s, you may want to mention your DM response time in your IG bio to make it super clear to your audience.

There’s another handy hint that we’ll save for later, but we will say that having a DM response time can really help you to save your sanity!

Because really? You don’t need to be on your phone 24/7 waiting for DM’s to roll in.

You need sleep you beautiful thing!


instagram direct messages


One of our greatest hacks for Instagram direct messages is to set up keyboard shortcuts for your most commonly asked questions.

Here are a few potential scenarios to get the ideas flowing:

  • ✔ Shipping questions
  • ✔ Service pricing
  • ✔ Booking options
  • ✔ Refunds
  • ✔ Contact details for PR queries



Depending on how you use Instagram, you’ll get different questions. Write out a few answers for your most commonly asked questions and set them up in your phone as keyboard shortcuts.

It’s a massive time-saver – no more writing out the same thing multiple times a day!



Instagram has introduced ‘quick replies’ for some Instagram business profiles. This is an in-app version of text replacement and you can essentially do the same thing that you would do on your own device, but your shortcuts will only work when in Instagram DM’s.



PSSST -> Want some tricks for gaining Instagram followers every single day? Check this out!


instagram direct messages


Whether you’ve got a not-so-happy person on the other end of your Instagram DM’s or someone who is absolutely delightful, a great way to add a more human touch to your conversation and to remind your community that you are a real person is to send through a video.

Put on your customer service cap (ideally, the invisible one) and say something nice in a video and send it through Instagram direct messages.

It should ideally be something that makes sense for the conversation you’ve been having.


Person: Hey, I just got my order and I really them but one top is a size too small, can I exchange it?

You: *customer service answer*

Person: Okay great, I’ll do that now… thanks

You: *jumps on a video* Thanks for letting us know and we hope you love your new outfits!

How freak’n cool would that experience be for a loyal follower? Make their day and add a personal touch.

You’ll definitely get some great word of mouth advertising just by putting in that extra little smidgen of effort.


You may have seen that there are some Instagrammers out there who say in their profile “🚫 DM’s” – is this really a good idea?

Well, here are some pro’s and con’s to think about.


✔ It can help you to minimise DM’s if you are a large brand and send people over to your support email inbox

✔ It will help you to avoid disappointing customers with long response times if you don’t have the time to get back to your DM’s quickly


 ❌ Just because you have this in your bio, it doesn’t mean people will read it or follow it! You will likely still receive DM’s

 ❌This can come across as stand-offish and a wee bit rude to some customers

 ❌ If you avoid having conversations with your audience you could miss out on the opportunity to get to know them, have a fun chat with them, and convert them to wanting to buy your products or services


PSSST -> Want to learn how to use Instagram Carousel posts to make more money? Here’s our handy dandy guide.


Wahoo! There you have it, some of our best tips for managing Instagram direct messages like a pro.

We hope you’re feeling excited and raring to tackle that DM inbox of yours… trust us, you can do it!!


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